The Maelstrom-class battle cruiser was a class of battle cruiser of the proto-Star Destroyer family of starships manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards. It was introduced early during the Clone Wars (22 BBY–19 BBY) between the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic, and was deployed by the Republic Navy as their largest capital ship at the time. Despite the ship's design, only a select few cruisers witnessed any action during the war due to their high maintenance and operation costs. The battle cruisers served in the Galactic Empire, but were mothballed and discarded, although at least one, the Simoom, came under ownership of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War against the Empire.
The Maelstrom-class battle cruiser was dagger-shaped and had a long, thin, and heavily armored hull, allowing the vessel to awe its allies and make its enemies fearful. It was armed with heavy turbolaser cannons, battleship ion cannons, medium ion cannons, proton torpedo launchers, assault concussion missile launchers, and tractor beam projectors. It was capable of serving planetary siege and bombardment duties, as well as fleet command and carrier duties, and anti-space station operations.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Design[edit | edit source]
Belonging to the dagger-shaped proto-Star Destroyer family of starships such as the Venator-class Star Destroyer and the Acclamator-class assault ship, the Maelstrom-class battle cruiser was manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards at a cost of 158,000,000 credits per unit and were larger than 1,137 meters. The Maelstroms were designed to inspire awe in allies as much as they were designed to instill fear in enemies. The battle cruisers were considered to be massive and imposing, and had a long, thin, and heavily armored cranked delta hull with graceful twin command suites positioned over the main sublight engines at the aft.
Armament[edit | edit source]
The Maelstrom-class boasted formidable armament and complement of starfighters and ground forces. The battle cruiser carried a large amount of firepower that allowed it to fulfill their planetary bombardment role. The showpiece of the battle cruiser's armament was the ten ventral retractable quad-barrel heavy assault concussion missile launchers, which were used for planetary bombardments and anti-space station capabilities. Maelstrom-class battle cruisers were mounted with ten port and ten starboard multi-barrel heavy turbolaser batteries in both broadside turrets and fixed forward emplacements.
They were additionally equipped with ten ventral battleship ion cannons, and used smaller, lighter armaments for anti-starfighter and anti-gunboat fire for vessels that infiltrated through its fighter screen. Those consisted of ten port and ten starboard medium ion cannons along with ten port and ten starboard and ten forward-mounted proton torpedo launchers. The ship's armament also included twenty ventral medium tractor beam projectors, and ten ventral heavy tractor beam projectors.
Equipment and complement[edit | edit source]
The Maelstrom-class had a long-ranged sensor, along with powerful deflector shields. The Maelstroms were furnished with a sophisticated command and control system that gave the ship's commander a near-limitless view of the theater of command. It was equipped with sublight engines that were used in conjunction with a class 3 primary hyperdrive and a class 15 as a backup. For navigation, it was equipped with a navigation computer and had consumables for two years.
The Maelstrom-class was crewed by 45,000 officers, pilots, and enlisted crew, and could accommodate 15,000 troops and support staff along with their weapons, vehicles, and assorted gear. It carried complement of numerous assault ships, gunboats, landing craft, shuttles, and an entire fighter wing of 120 starfighters along with their attendant support staff and facilities, although standard specifications were ninety-six starfighters.
Role[edit | edit source]
Due to its characteristics, the Maelstrom-class battle cruiser was optimized for fleet command duties, along with fleet carrier and planetary siege and bombardment capabilities. It was additionally able to carry out anti-space station operations, and it was able to fulfill its roles well due to their design.
History[edit | edit source]
Produced at the onset of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Maelstrom-class battle cruiser was the largest vessel within the Republic Navy at the time of its introduction. Despite its design, the battle cruisers proved unpopular and were phased out of service soon after its introduction, which by that time, the war was in its final stage as newer and faster ships were produced, such as the Victory-class Star Destroyer. Additionally, the Maelstroms were not commonly deployed in their planned roles as they required vast resources to maintain and were too expensive to operate, despite its power.
The lead ship of the class, the Maelstrom, served with distinction at the Battle of Kromus and later at the Battle of Cularin when it was under the command of Jedi General Darrus Jeht, although most of the other ships of the class never partook in combat. Once the Clone Wars ended in 19 BBY and the Republic transitioned into the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Navy reorganized and the Maelstrom-class battle cruisers that remained in service were eventually mothballed, used as test beds, or broken up as a result. By the time of the Galactic Civil War against the Alliance to Restore the Republic, a handful of the mothballed ships still remained, with at least one of them, the Simoom, serving within the Alliance Navy.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Lead by Example (First mentioned)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Lead by Example
- Lead by Example establishes that the Maelstrom-class battle cruiser was the largest capital ship of the Galactic Republic Navy at the onset of the Clone Wars. As such, it must be larger than the Venator-class Star Destroyer, which according to Rise of the Separatists, was a Republic Navy capital ship that served at the onset of the war. Since the length of the Venator-class is 1,137 meters in length per Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition, the Maelstrom-class must be larger than that length.
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that the Clone Wars began in 22 BBY and ended in 19 BBY.